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Thursday, 17 March 1932

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - The maintenance of the exchange rate was brought before the Loan Council at its last meeting in a letter from the Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Board. The Bank Board intimated that it could not undertake any risks in respect to a falling exchange rate. The matter was considered by the Loan Council in association with the State Premiers, because of its obviously national importance, and the need to determine a rate of exchange that will give reasonable equality of treatment between our exporting and our internal industries. The matter was discussed from that angle at the Premiers Conference. A certain amount of correspondence on the subject has since taken place with the State Governments, and there has also been discussion with the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Bank. I had an interview with the board as recently as last Saturday. I hope that the matter may be further reviewed at the Premiers Conference in April, and that a definite policy may then be announced that will have the support of both the Commonwealth and the States, giving the desirable stability to the exchanges, and determining the exchange rate with regard to both the external prices of our produce and the internal cost of production.

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